I’m loving that Steam is picking up all these old games as of lately, good or bad. Throughout all of October we’ve gotten a bunch of classic games, so I figured I would give them a little nice feature since I’m a big fan of old computer games.
Original Release: 31 Dec 1999 – Steam Release: 27 Sep 2013
Gorky 17, known as Odium in North America, is a classic turn-based roleplaying game developed by the Polish developer Metropolis Software, the company we today know as CD Projekt. Combat in Gorky 17 was inspired by games like Shining Force and the original X-COM, playing like a squad-based tactical game. The story follows a squad of NATO soldiers that are fighting weird creatures in Poland while trying to find the missing members of the first group send out to investigate. The game received a decent response in 1999, but it’s not a game I would suggest you run out and grab any time soon.
Original Release: 14 Apr 2000 – Steam Release: 1 Oct 2013
Thirteen years ago everyone was laughing about the classic ad campaign claiming “John Romero is about to make you his b**ch! – Suck it down!”. Daikatana was finally released after so many years of delayed and development problems and the result was a disaster. The game had horrid level design, dull and muddy graphics and just played really bad. It’s the game that made John Romero a joke despite being a damn fine developer in the past. It’s now released on Steam and I can’t really recommend it to anyone unless you want to relive a piece of computer gaming history.
Original Release: 25 Jun 1998 – Steam Release: 3 Oct 2013
Want a classic hardcore dungeon crawler? Well, here’s Deathtrap Dungeon. The plot is stupidly simple, you play one of three warriors and descend into a dungeon to slay the dragon Melkor. I won’t lie, Deathtrap Dungeon is pretty clinky, as most 3D RPGs from the late 90′s were, but for less than 10 bucks, I think it’s a game that you could have a lot of fun with. If anything, it’s worth mentioning that the game is not a original story, but based on books from the Fighting Fantasy series of adventure books, written by Ian Livingstone.
Original Release: 19 Jul 2002 – Steam Release: 4 Oct 2013
This is a later game when compared to the rest on this list. The Starbreeze Studios developed RPG Enclave was a minor hit on the original Xbox before making its way to Windows and Wii. Like we expect from modern western RPGs, Enclave featured the ability to follow a light path as a hero or a darker path as a villain. I personally found the game really neat back in the day and I would recommend checking it out. It’s not the best game on this list, but it’s worth trying if you’re into a good western RPG. Also, the goblins speak broken Swedish, which is great.
Original Release: 31 Oct 1996 – Steam Release: 8 Oct 2013
Pandemonium! is one of my favorite childhood games. This game was one of the earliest 2.5D platformer games, featuring fully rendered characters and levels while still playing like a regular side-scroller. You have two main characters, Fargus the Jester and Nikki the Acrobat. The entire game has a circus theme to it, which is refreshing and colorful in the best ways. The game also features full on voice acting and CG cutscenes to tell the story of Fargus and Nikki… Yes, I need to note that, it wasn’t that common in 1996. Check this game out, it’s one of my favorite picks of the games on this list.
Original Release: 30 Nov 1999 – Steam Release: 15 Oct 2013
Here we have a game I never thought I would see again. Urban Chaos is a really ambitious little game that tries to present a complex mix of different gameplay styles as you play through the story. The main character is D’arci Stern, a female police officer who is investigating a urban gang called the Wildcats. The Wildcats is seemingly planning on taking over the entire city and rule it as their own, and D’arci have to stop it. The game features a lot of free roaming, car chases, hand to hand combat and so much more. I really recommend checking out Urban Chaos, it’s a early piece of history for A LOT of games today.
Original Release: 27 Jun 2001 – Steam Release: 17 Oct 2013
Yes, Ion Storm did actually develop more games than the previously mentioned Daikatana. Designed by the legendary Tom Hall, Anachronox was praised a lot upon release. A lot of people compared the story and tone to Tom‘s earlier work on Deus Ex, a comparison that it’s still worthy of of in my opinion. But Anachronox is not a first person RPG, not at all, it’s a turn based RPG inspired by a lot of J-RPGs of the time. It is clear that the team was heavily inspired by the 90′s era FINAL FANTASY games. I really recommend checking out Anachronox, it’s a great game from a studio that deserved more good games.
Original Release: 31 Oct 1996 – Steam Release: 17 Oct 2013
I love this game. This is one of my favorite adventure games of all time and one of my favorite horror games of all time. Based on the equally amazing short-story by Harlan Ellison, who also narrates the game as the master computer AM. This game is creepy, smart and a experience that anyone that enjoys point and click adventure games must experience. There’s just no way around this. Check it out. You will not be disappointed.
Original Release: 9 Mar 1996 – Steam Release: 19 Oct 2013
It’s quite amazing. I was talking about this game just the other night, and here it s re-released on Steam. Based on the comicbook of the same name, Shadow Man follows Micahel LeRoi who becomes the titular Shadow Man thanks to the Mask of Shadows bestowed upon him by Mama Nettie. The game is a third person shooter where you have to collect dark souls to increase your shadow power level. It’s very cheesy and goofy today, but this game was badass back in 1996 and even had a sequel on the PS2 a few years later. The game is far from perfect, but I think it’s worth checking out.
Original Release: 1 Jan 1993 – Steam Release: 19 Oct 2013
The big game by Trilobyte from twenty years ago and one of the finest examples of good FMV games. The 7th Guest is a puzzle game with CG FMV sequences between the puzzles as you navigate your way through a mysterious mansion owned by the sinister Henry Stauf. The main character is a amnesiac AFGNCAAP (Ageless, Faceless, Gender-Neutral, Culturally Ambiguous Adventure Person) like so many other characters in adventure games from the 90′s. It’s thanks to games like this and MYST that we today all have CD-ROM drives in our computers, as they were required for these games… Well, I guess we have DVD-ROM or BD-ROM drives now, but you get my point.
Original Release: 30 Nov 1995 – Steam Release: 19 Oct 2013
Here’s the big sequel to The 7th Guest that ended up being quite controversial back in 1995. The story took a weird turn as it moved up sixty years from where The 7th Guest took place. The game was also far more graphic and heavy on FMVs than the previous title. Personally, I absolutely love The 11th Hour, possibly more than the original game even. The game has three endings, all of which are… interesting, to say the least. I highly recommend playing The 11th Guest along with its predecessor, especially as Trilobyte has reformed and are in fact working on a third game in the series again.